Monday, November 29, 2010

And the Trip Begins

If you're reading this, then we're on the way to the airport now....heading to:

Posting will be live and more sporadic while we are traveling, so stay tuned!

 <3 D&M

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tiyulon Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

The Bottom Line: ****

A boy from the slums tells his life story while playing on the game-show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Shows various parts of Indian society in an entertaining story. A good film all around with a soundtrack to boot.

The Tiyulon Take: Not so Indian in it's making, the movie still provides a first-hand look at life in India. The train station; the slums; the wealthy middle class; the call centers; and the sappy love.
So if you haven't seen this movie, where were you last year???

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hindu Festival in El Centro

Last week while making our way to the Centro Historico, we found ourselves in the middle of a Hindu festival. We couldn't get a clear cut answer on what festival it was, but a bit of google suggests that it was probably the Kalpathi Ratholsavam (Kalpathi Chariot Festival). You can read about it here, or in detail here.
Needless to say, we can tell you that there were a few Indians, and a lot of hippies, some people that had come up all the way from Mexico city, Indian-Mexican food or Mexican-Indian (not sure what to call it), some books, and lots of incense for sale. Oh, and a stage with some worship we never saw in India, and a few chariots. :-) It was a welcome surprise on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dia de los Muertos 2010

A year ago on Nov. 2 we arrived in the city for the very first time. We had pozole and pan de muerto, and we admired roadside shrines, and those around the city.
This year D went downtown for a bit of wandering. So here are some pictures to put you in a festive mood:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Top Tip for Booking Flights

Delete your cookies!

When you search for a flight, at first the site will show you the best deal. But, if you come back a little later, you will only be able to find a (slightly) higher price.

We checked this out and have confirmed that this is occurring on most, if not all, the travel websites!

So delete your cookies...(found in your browser's preferences or options menu, usually under privacy)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Flight Search Engine

Just a couple weeks ago we came upon  a new search engine via LifeHacker.

It's called HipMunk and for the time being* it has changed our lives for the better.

Why we love it:

* It shows the flights rated by "agony" which is a combination of price, number of stops, length of layover, total flight length etc!

* It show the flights horizontally over a time frame, so that it is super easy to compare the different options visually!!!!

* It allows you to open multiple tabs in the same window, and remembers your previous inputs so that all you have to do is change the dates by a day or two!

We used hipmunk to book our flights and it was super easy- once we had mulled over our 18 tabs of dates, we just clicked on the chosen flights and were taken to the booking site (in our case Orbitz).

Hope you find it useful!

*Why for the time being? Because most search engines start out really good finding great deals. As they grow and make partnerships with other travel organizations they find flights that are lucrative for them rather than the best deal for us. Kayak being the most recent example. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Flights booked!

It's no coincidence that we pulled out the packing list last week. We officially have some flights booked for our next big adventure. Two weeks from now we will be on our way. In the spirit of adventure, we're going to keep the location under wraps for a little while longer. But you can expect a new continent we have never blogged about before! :-)

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Packing list 102

Here's the addendum for camping. These were things we picked up locally, but of course if you are going for a shorter trip you can bring them from home. 

bag cover (to waterproof your pack)
fleece jacket
rain coat (that fits on top of jacket)
sleeping bag
food (energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, ramen, pasta, bread, pb, pasta, chocolate, bars, tuna, dried gatorade)
cooking gear (gas burner, pot, utensils etc)
water bottles

*Don't forget from the main list: hiking shoes, socks, change of clothes (if you get wet), water treatment tablets, sunscreen, sunglasses, first aid kit).

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Packing list 101

So one of our most frequently asked questions is to share our packing list for a backpacking trip. This is the exact list we used for our big trip. It was geared towards Asia in the summertime. We should also note that this list does not include gear for camping or hiking in the mountains. Those were things that we picked up locally.

Major items:
pack/ large bag
daypack/ small bag
hiking shoes
sandals (teva/chaco/source, that can get wet and dry quickly)
towel - quick dry is best
sheet - (for anything from dirty hostels, to trains, to the beach)

(in Asia modest is better, t-shirts not sleeveless, longer shorts/skirts)
2 pants
1 shorts/skirt
3 shirts
5 socks
5-7 underwear
(Women- 3 bras)
pajamas (that can serve as extra t-shirt/shorts)
bathing suit
1 sweatshirt

Personal items:
(Women- tampons- difficult to find in Asia)
tooth brush
small toiletries to start (carry on size)

Water purifying tablets!
Pepto bismol
Prescription medication
(Malaria tablets)

student i.d.
health insurance printout
passport pics
photocopies of documents
guidebook/maps and notes (tiyulon tips printout)
small gifts to give away depending on where you're going (pencils, postcards)
namecards/business cards for Chinese (everybody has one and will want yours)

camera + sd card + charger
usb card reader
camcorder + tripod + charger
ipod + mic + charger
Cellphone + charger

Other important items:
lock with chain for bag on train/ for lockers
sun glasses
money belt
Head lamp/flashlight!
Toilet Paper! (depending on the country)

Monday, November 8, 2010

On Making Tequila

For some reason this post never made it out of draft form, so here it is:

Making Tequila

Start with blue agave, grown for 10-20 years, and pull it out of the ground:

Find a dude with a machete to whip the guy into shape:


With lots of piñas (bulbs) you can make lots of Tequila:

Cook for a day, let ferment for many more
Drink up!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Costalegre Tips: Colima and Jalisco Beaches

Our latest trip to Cuastecomate reminded me that we never put up our Pacific Coast Tips, that have been waiting since our last two trips going South to North, and then North to South. So here they are South to North, designated as "surf" (rough beaches), or "swim" (swim-able), and any other tidbits you might want to know.
For a map, see this post.

Cuyutlán- a black sand beach, surf, a few rustic accommodations and several palapa restaurants. There's really nothing going on in the town itself, but there is a Turtle Sanctuary which is supposed to be interesting (but closed on Wednesday). The best part is that getting to the beach is so easy- when the highway ends, you're there.

Manzanillo- a big port city and therefore the beaches a pretty polluted. There are several large hotels (with golf courses even), but we wouldn't venture in there...If you do- our favorite is Playa de Santiago, swim, which has an awesome retro hotel.

* Costa Alegre- the happy coast, literally starts here and ends in Puerto Vallarta. It is full of small coves and therefore makes a good location to relax, although you won't really find any "American standard" hotels.

Barra de Navidad- on a really large cove that is quite beautiful, surf, was built up for tourism but is still on the basic side.

Melaque- another surf beach, has more of a dusty Mexican town and lots of small (and not super attractive) hotels.

Cuastecomate- tiny cove, swim, a few restaurants, is good for a day trip but there are only 2 lodging options: a run down hotel and a house for rent (for 12 people).

La Manzanilla- low key beach, swim, rustic accommodations and many palapa restaurants.

Boca de Iguanas- a nice beach with crocodiles, (good) surf, main accommodation is an RV park.
Boca de Iguanas

Tenacatita- same as La Manzanilla, special because there are coves facing both east and west so you can see both sunrises and sunsets. Unfortunately going through some troubles.

Careyes- home to a luxury resort and private homes, this beach is located on a very rocky strip and the houses are perched on the hill above; might be nice but seemed very isolated to us.

Punta Perula- the northernmost beach reachable via the coastal road, swim, a longer stretch than the above two, but even more rustic. Most people come to camp/in RV. There is one "full service" hotel, but we wouldn't recommend it.

Northward are the beaches of Bahia de Banderas, a.k.a. Puerto Vallarta, coming up in another tips installment.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Travel According to Mark Twain

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
- Innocents Abroad

I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
-Tom Sawyer Abroad

There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage.
- Letter to Will Bowen (prior to sailing on Quaker City)

These and many more, from this site, or the book above.